Poynter: HMRC needs new structure

The taxman will need a new organisational structure as part of its plan to
make sure the loss of millions of people’s data is never repeated, the
chancellor said this afternoon.

Chancellor Alistair Darling told the House of Commons that the review by
PwC’s Kieran Poynter into the events leading up to the loss of 25 million
individuals’ data was still far from complete, but the taxman needed a simpler
structure with accountability at executive level.

PwC chairman Poynter’s first findings from his review into the issues leading
up to the data loss included highlighting that the department had too complex a
management structure without clear accountabilities.

Darling told the House of Commons that HMRC had already begun to thin out its
reporting lines, even before Poynter began his work.

HMRC and Poynter were concerned about the matrix management structure at the
department, which was implemented by
former chairman Sir David Varney

Poynter also recommended that HMRC stock every type of data transfer
currently in use, whether by electronic or documentary means, and a process to
challenge any type of transfer or download.

This would be subject to review by a newly-appointed data security officer,
and Poynter.

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